Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Moog, a brief history of electro

The great thing about electronic music is that I can mimic the tonal richness of a full band. early pioneers like moog still continue to influence modern electronic music. Great music now seems to be a combination of retro style synths and excellent studio techniques subjective to the producer. Working on my own music I cant help but remember the pioneers of synth and the technology that goes into their music.

The moog company pioneered the commercial manufacture of modular analogue synthesizer. The company founded by Dr Robert Arthur Moog had begun manufacturing valve-state\Theremins in kit form, while he was a student. Moog later went on to market the transistorized theremin kits in 1961, which grew his interest in the design and construction of complex electronic music systems.

Wendy carlos was an American composer who gained commercial success, by recording compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach using only the Moog Synthesizer. Originally consulting with Robert Moog on the musical refinements of his modules. Wendy carlos purchased a large Moog modular system in 1968 and constructed a state of the art 8 track multi recorder.

The resulting album was released by CBS records later that year with the title Switched on to Bach. It became the highest selling Classical music recordings ever released up to that time, which earned Carlos 3 grammy awards. On the success of switched on to Bach came 3 more electronic Baroque music, which led to a sound track for Stanley Kubric's Iconic film A clockwork orange.
The 1970's brought about a change to the Moog company with the creation of the mini moog it's a monophonic analogue synthesizer, invented by Bill Hemsath and Robert moog. The mini moog synthesizer was designed for rock and pop music, due to it portability compared with large modular synthesizers that were large ,expensive, easily damaged and not ideal for live performances. many many Bands  like Emerson lake and Palmer ( and other prog rock bands), Kraft werk, Gary Numan, ABBA and even Michael Jackson used the Mini moog in their recordings.
Sales for the mini moog reach as high as 13,000 units sold right up to the 1980's, though analog synthesis were succeeded by a reliable digital oscillator in the frequency modulated synthesizer. The advent of affordable synthesizers, from foreign japanese companies sealed the fait of Moog. The Moog Liberation was the last synthesizer released by the original Moog music, it was a programable polyphonic Memorymoog in 1985. Moog music was declared bankrupt in 1986.
By the mid-1990s, analog synthesizers were again highly sought after and prized for their classic sound. In 2001, Robert Moog's company Big Briar was able to acquire the rights to the Moog name and officially became Moog Music. Moog Music has been producing the Minimoog Voyager modeled after the original Minimoog since 2002. As of 2006, more than 15 companies are making Moog-style synthesizer modules, including Arturia a virtual instrument software company. Moog music continue to make excellent products their mission of the foundation is to educate and inspire through the power of electronic music science and innovation. With product like the Moog guitar and various moog pedals MoogMusic has come back stronger then ever

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